Jacob Rees-Mogg: Britain’s poshest politician for PM?

Could posh-boy Jacob Rees-Mogg really become leader of the Conservative Party?

860-rees-mogg-b

5445139o

Copyright (c) 2014 Shutterstock. No use without permission.

It's been a fruitful year in every sense for Jacob Rees-Mogg. At 48, the self- described "loyal son" of the Catholic Church became a father for the sixth time to "the gloriously named" Sixtus Dominic Boniface Christopher, says the National Review. And bookies now have him as second favourite to replace Theresa May, behind cabinet minister David Davis, buoyed by an army of Tory grassroots supporters. In typical self-deprecatory style a mask, some say, for a steeliness of purpose Rees-Mogg tells the Daily Express: "It's flattering... but I wouldn't advise your readers to invest with the bookmakers... There are better ways of making their money work".

He should know, says The Sunday Times. "The Honourable Member for the 18th century" is thought to have collected more than £1m in dividends this year from Somerset Capital Management, the investment house he cofounded in 2007 (and of which he still owns at least 15%); and at least £4m (on top of his salary) since being elected to Parliament in 2010. "I am fortunate to have a private income," he says. But then he's spent a lifetime honing his skills, says the National Review. At 11, "he reportedly turned a £50 inheritance into £3,500" in the stockmarket. Soon after, he began agitating at the annual meetings of GEC and Lonrho.

Yet "despite later portrayals", Rees-Mogg "never thought of his youthful investments as the pastime of a rich, dilettantish boy", says The Spectator. He comes from a family steeped in commerce. Although his father, William, was a renowned former editor of The Times, the family fortune derives from coal mining in Somerset. And after graduating from Oxford, Rees-Mogg spent 15 years as an investment manager: first at Rothschild, and then for Lloyd George Management in Hong Kong.

He began his political career heading the University Conservative Association, then stood for parliament twice before finally being elected MP for North East Somerset in 2010. He first became "a figure of intrigue (and not a little amusement)" in 1997 when he canvassed a working-class area in Fife with his nanny, says The Spectator, and his warmth and humour have made him popular in the House, even with opponents, says Matthew Parris in The Times. But don't fall for the "nonsense about nannies and double-breasted pyjamas". The "semi-ironic" fan clubs (Moggmentum, the Jacob Rees-Mogg Appreciation Society) are a "serious social media movement".

With tens of thousands of supporters, Rees-Mogg is now "the principle bidder for the moral and ideological leadership of the younger generation of the Tory right" although his "reactionary" opinions are "poison" to many in the party. "Whatever his political future, it is safe to assume he will be keeping a weather eye on the markets for many years to come, if only to manage the Mogg millions," notes The Spectator. According to some reports, when his wife Helena comes into her own family fortune (derived from her mother's Fitzwilliam family), Rees-Mogg will be worth as much as £150m.

Recommended

Johann Rupert: the Warren Buffett of luxury goods
People

Johann Rupert: the Warren Buffett of luxury goods

Johann Rupert, the presiding boss of Swiss luxury group Richemont, has seen off a challenge to his authority by a hedge fund. But his trials are not o…
26 Sep 2022
Profile: the fall of Alvin Chau, Macau’s junket king
People

Profile: the fall of Alvin Chau, Macau’s junket king

Alvin Chau made a fortune catering for Chinese gamblers as the authorities turned a blind eye. Now he’s on trial for illegal cross-border gambling, fr…
20 Sep 2022
Profile of Ryan Cohen: the “meme king” who sparked a frenzy
People

Profile of Ryan Cohen: the “meme king” who sparked a frenzy

Ryan Cohen was credited with saving a clapped-out videogames retailer with little more than a knack for whipping up a social-media storm. But his late…
13 Sep 2022
The rise of Gautam Adani, Asia’s richest man
People

The rise of Gautam Adani, Asia’s richest man

India’s Gautam Adani started working life as an exporter and hit the big time when he moved into infrastructure. Political connections have been usefu…
23 Aug 2022

Most Popular

Why everyone is over-reacting to the mini-Budget
Budget

Why everyone is over-reacting to the mini-Budget

Most analyses of the chancellor’s mini-Budget speech have failed to grasp its purpose and significance, says Max King
29 Sep 2022
How the end of cheap money could spark a house price crash
House prices

How the end of cheap money could spark a house price crash

Rock bottom interest rates drove property prices to unaffordable levels. But with rates set to climb and cheap money off the table, we could see house…
28 Sep 2022
Why UK firms should start buying French companies
UK stockmarkets

Why UK firms should start buying French companies

The French are on a buying spree, snapping up British companies. We should turn the tables, says Matthew Lynn, and start buying French companies. Here…
28 Sep 2022